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Key GOP reps will back ObamaCare repeal bill with new amendment

Key GOP reps will back ObamaCare repeal bill with new amendment
© Greg Nash

Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Billy Long (R-Mo.) said Wednesday they will support the GOP’s ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill with the addition of a new amendment Upton drafted.

The two Republicans made the announcement at the White House after meeting with President Trump.

Both previously opposed the bill, which is backed by Trump and Republican leaders.

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"I think it is likely now to pass the House,” Upton said.

But he added he’s “not in the whip count” and can’t definitively say there are enough votes for the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to pass.

Upton said a vote could be held as soon as Thursday.

GOP leadership has sought to make changes to the ObamaCare repeal bill to get enough House Republican support to pass the bill. The legislation was abruptly pulled from the House floor in late March after it became clear that a planned vote on the AHCA would have failed.

In a brief interview Wednesday, Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) told The Hill that the Upton amendment meant that he was putting both Upton and Long back in the "yes" column for his internal whip count.

"I think it brings them to yes," Scalise said as he bolted from the Speaker's office out of the doors of the Capitol.  

House GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersOvernight Health Care: GOP chair blasts DEA over opioid enforcement | House passes bill to ease ObamaCare calorie rule | Patient groups oppose 'right to try' drug bill Overnight Regulation: EPA sued over water rule delay | House passes bill to ease ObamaCare calorie rule | Regulators talk bitcoin | Patient groups oppose FDA 'right to try' bill House passes bill to ease menu labeling rules under ObamaCare MORE (R-Wash.) told The Hill the late change "absolutely" added net votes to the GOP tally.

- Scott Wong contributed.

- Updated at 11:28 a.m.